One of BLACK SABBATH’s biggest fans tells U.K.’s Sunday Mercury that online ticket scalpers have made it impossible for him to see his favorite band’s reunion concert in their hometown.
Tickets for the show, which will be at the O2 Academy in Birmingham on May 19, are going for £250 (approximately $400) on the Internet — more than for five times the original price of £45.
Sean May, who has SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne’s name tattooed on his knuckles, tells Sunday Mercury, “I’ve been following the band since I was 14, but the real fans are missing out so these ticket scalpers can make money. I think it’s wrong, and it’s not the venue or the band that are profiting, it’s online ticket touts. It’s only a small concert, with 3,000 tickets.
He added, “I tried to get on to the official web site as soon as they went on sale at 9 a.m. on Friday, but it crashed. When I got through to the venue 10 minutes later but they had sold out.
“The venue say they only sell two tickets per person — how on earth did they sell to 1,500 people in 10 minutes?”
BLACK SABBATH’s promoter Andy Copping added, “Of course the show sold out quickly, it’s BLACK SABBATH playing a small show in their hometown. Sadly, some people feel the need to purchase tickets and put them on the secondary market. I personally find it disgusting and unethical but until the government do something and pass some legislation to outlaw this practice, we are powerless. What makes matters worse is that the show will be making a sizeable financial contribution to charity – maybe the people that are seeking to profiteer from their tickets should donate the additional money they make to the charity, then at least it’s going to a good cause.”
A donation to Help For Heroes will be made from the proceeds of the show.
BLACK SABBATH was supposed to tour the Europe and North America this year as part of a worldwide trek in support of a new album, but guitarist Tony Iommi’s cancer diagnosis put those plans on hold.
Ozzy Osbourne’s wife and manager, Sharon, said recently that SABBATH would now play just one date each in North America and the U.K.
Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler recently spent time in London recording their first album together in 33 years, although without drummer Bill Ward it is not the original SABBATH reunion announced last November.
Ward has been sitting out the sessions due to being offered what he called “an unsignable contract” in an open letter to SABBATH fans.
Ward posted an update on February 17 in which he said he “remains hopeful” for a positive outcome to the situation.
The rest of SABBATH’s scheduled European summer gigs will be replaced by “Ozzy And Friends”, at which the singer will be joined by Butler, former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde and other special guests, including Slash on selected dates